Shoplifing allegation holding up Frenkel’s return as Bank of Israel chief

(JTA) — The committee that recommended Jacob Frenkel for governor of the Bank of Israel is delaying its final decision to discuss allegations that he was implicated in shoplifting seven years ago.

According to a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz and other Israeli media, Frenkel failed to report to the appointing committee that he was suspected of shoplifting from a duty-free shop in Hong Kong seven years ago.

Frenkel told the committee on Friday that local authorities in Hong Kong had dismissed the incident as “an unfortunate misunderstanding” and asked Frenkel not to sue for damages, according to Haaretz. He declined to elaborate when asked for more details by the newspaper.

According to the report, the committee was scheduled to approve the nomination this week, but is delaying the decision until the matter is sufficiently clarified.

Unidentified representatives for the committee told Haaretz that the committee would reconvene “to continue its deliberations. Various reports submitted to the committee will also be discussed.”

“Senior members” of the committee headed by Jacob Turkel, a former Israel Supreme Court justice, told Army Radio that they believed the incident would not change the panel’s decision to recommend Frenkel to the position.

Frenkel would be returning to the post; he served two terms from 1991 to 2000. He would be succeeding Stanley Fischer.

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